Teacher cleared of touching pupil inappropriately

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A ST Helens teacher has been cleared of touching one of her pupils in an “inappropriate” way.

Teacher and music co-ordinator Sara Nolan, 37, was working at Lansbury Bridge School in Parr when the allegations first came to light, the General Teaching Council (GTC) heard.

The allegations, all dismissed by the watchdog last week, were that Ms Nolan repeatedly failed to maintain teacher-pupil boundaries by forming an “inappropriate relationship” with one of her pupils – a 15-year-old boy.

Among the allegations were that Ms Nolan, who worked at the special school between September 2006 and February 2008, allowed Pupil A to sit on her lap in the playground and linked arms with him while walking along the corridor.

The committee found that Ms Nolan “at no stage” instigated physical contact with Pupil A.

Ms Nolan was also accused of exchanging text messages with the boy, but she insisted that the phone which was used to send messages to the youngster was no longer in her possession at the time.

Dismissing the allegations of unacceptable professional conduct, Paul Bird, chair of the GTC hearing, concluded that the management directions regarding Pupil A had been followed by Ms Nolan.

He said: “It was still agreed by Form Tutors and others that Pupil A should play an important role in various activities for which Ms Nolan was ultimately responsible and which would bring Pupil A into contact with Ms Nolan. This included such tasks as the sound production in the school performances of Shrek and the nativity play.

“Furthermore, when requested to do so, Ms Nolan changed her break time rota and the bus line for which she was responsible. Finally, following a meeting in May 2007, there were two occasions when Ms Nolan removed herself from her class when Pupil A had failed to leave and Ms Nolan sought assistance.”